The Note: Long Ball Lay-up

Under a "GOP candidates running scared" headline, Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny wrote on Sunday that "Republicans across the country are beset by anxieties about the fortunes of their party and fearful that their dominance could be upended by an electorate hungry for a change." LINK

U.S. News & World Reports' Dan Gilgoff offers a special report on how very tilted the country's political map is toward incumbents. LINK

While Democrats lead public opinion polls on national issues, Republicans up for reelection in November are planning to counter with campaigns focusing on local issues in their states and districts, reports Donald Lambro of the Washington Times. LINK

Bloomberg News' James Rowley predicts that the issue of tort reform may play a role in several House and Senate campaigns this year. LINK

strong>2006: New Orleans:

Times-Picayune's Brian Thevenot gives readers a heads up on the runoff early voting that starts today. LINK

"In a manner befitting their surroundings," Mitch Landrieu and Ray Nagin "respectfully shared their views on issues such as education, crime and housing" at a forum Sunday sponsored by All Congregations Together, writes Times Picayune's Lynne Jensen. LINK

2006: Governor:

The Lincoln Journal Star's Don Walton covers the final leg of the Nebraska GOP gubernatorial primary campaign between Gov. Dave Heineman, Rep. Tom Osborne, and Omaha businessman Dave Nabity. LINK

The New York Post's Fred Dicker reports that Empire State Republicans no longer believe Tom Suozzi's Democratic primary run against Eliot Spitzer can do any significant damage to the popular attorney general's gubernatorial campaign. LINK

2006: Senate:

Roll Call's Stu Rothenberg writes up why he believes that New Jersey is the GOP's best shot at picking up a Democratic Senate seat.

2006: House:

Republicans in Texas' 22nd District met behind closed doors yesterday to interview seven candidates to replace Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) on the November ballot, reports Zeke Minaya of the Houston Chronicle. LINK

2008: Republicans:

"Hundreds of New School students, staffers, and faculty members want the university to rescind its invitation to Senator McCain," and "are planning a variety of ways to protest his speech, including turning their backs on the senator while he is speaking," reports the New York Sun. LINK

James Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette writes up Gov. Mitt Romney's weekend visit to Iowa Noting that although Romney explained his visit as due to "a connection between Coe President James Phifer and his lieutenant governor's staff" the '08 hopeful "added with a smile, [that] the excuse for a trip to Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, made the invitation more attractive." LINK

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) "faces a two-hour grilling by members of the Iowa Christian Alliance" today, reports Hotline's On Call. LINK

Page Six ledes with some Republican presidential hopefuls hitting up wealthy potential donors at the Kentucky Derby this past weekend. LINK

Rudy Giuliani's lobbying ties with oil companies "could cause Giuliani some serious political agita if he runs for president in 2008," writes Newsday's Glenn Thrush. &LINK

2008: Democrats:

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